Governor responds to tribes’ casino lawsuit

Governor responds to tribes’ casino lawsuit

The ongoing dispute between Gov. Kevin Stitt and tribal governments that operate casinos has primarily centered on one question: Did state-tribal gaming compacts auto-renew for another 15-year term on Jan. 1 as the result of continued slot machine gaming at two horse racetracks?

A lawsuit filed on Dec. 31, 2019 by the Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, and Choctaw Nation asked a federal court to declare the compacts have auto-renewed because Remington Park racetrack in Oklahoma City and Will Rogers Downs in Rogers County were given the right to continue slot machine gaming onsite for another year by a vote of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission on October 17, 2019.

The three tribal governments claim the commission’s action fulfilled all compact requirements for auto-renewal and tribal governments “therefore have a right under Federal law to continue their conduct of Class III gaming activities under their Compacts on and after January 1, 2020.”

But in a response filed on behalf of Stitt and the State of Oklahoma this week, the state says that claim is based on a false understanding of gaming compacts’ provisions.




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